A recent study demonstrates that taking a little stroll after eating can help lower blood sugar levels. The information comes from a meta-analysis that was conducted earlier this year and published in the journal Sports Medicine. Researchers compared the effects of prolonged sitting versus light physical activity. Standing and walking, on blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and heart health.
It’s typical for blood sugar levels to fluctuate throughout the day in all people. Our bodies can typically ride the wave because the pancreas secretes insulin when blood sugar levels are high. This insulin alerts the body to absorb the glucose in the blood. Decreasing the blood sugar and allowing the body to either use the glucose for energy right away or store it as glycogen in the liver for later use.
Insulin resistance has the potential to start to throw this system off balance in persons with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. However, it’s advantageous to maintain blood sugar levels within a constant range whether you have diabetes or not.
How light walking is Effective
None of the participants in any of the five studies the paper analysed had Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. The final two investigations compared those who had such conditions to those who did not. Over the course of a whole day, participants were instructed to stand or move around for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes. All seven trials demonstrated that, compared to, say, sitting at a desk or lying down on the couch, a few minutes of light-intensity walking after a meal was sufficient to dramatically lower blood sugar levels. Participants’ blood sugar levels climbed and decreased more gradually after taking a brief stroll.
While light walking reduced blood sugar levels the most, standing also had some effect. “Standing did have a small benefit,” said Aidan Buffey, a graduate student at the University of Limerick in Ireland and one of the paper’s authors. “Light-intensity walking was a superior intervention,” he stated, compared to sitting or standing.
Walking Within an Hour after Meal
Even while mild exercise is beneficial for your health at any time, taking a quick stroll within 60 to 90 minutes after a meal can be particularly helpful in reducing blood sugar increases because that is when blood sugar levels tend to peak.
Additionally, researchers advised standing up to conduct chores around the house or finding other methods to exercise your body. This brief exercise will complement any dietary modifications that patients may be making to help manage their blood sugar levels.
“Moving even a little bit is worthwhile and can lead to measurable changes. These studies showed, in your health markers,” said Dr. Euan Ashley, a Stanford University cardiologist who was not involved in the research.
Light walking are more Practical
A two to three minute mini-walk is more practicable during the workday. Mr. Buffey, whose research focuses on physical activity interventions in working situations. He asserted that while individuals “are not going to get up and run on a treadmill or run around the office,” they might have a cup of coffee or even take a stroll down the corridor. He advised a little stroll around the block after lunch or in between Zoom meetings for folks who work from home. Mini-walks during the workplace will be more practical as they become more commonplace, according to Mr. Buffey. “Difficulties could arise if you are in a rigid environment.” Dr. Ashley advised standing if you cannot take those few minutes to go for a walk.
Research shows that within an hour or two after a meal. Walking or even standing for two to five minutes can significantly affect blood sugar levels. Because our body’s muscles use more energy. Which is provided by the glucose we just consumed, the blood sugar level in our blood is more consistently maintained throughout the day. Beyond simply getting up and moving after a meal or snack, maintaining a healthy blood sugar level can be helped by consuming a diet high in fibre, well-balanced, and complete foods.